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Best of East Africa Safari

Best of East Africa Safari

BEST OF EAST AFRICA SAFARI

Trip duration

21 days/ 20 nights

The Best of East Africa Safari can be combined with our Zanzibar Beach Holidays.

 

 

DAY 1: ARRIVAL – NAIROBI, THE AFRICAN SAFARI CAPITAL

Our Best of East Africa Safari will start in Kenya’s tourism capital, Nairobi. We shall arrive via the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, where our Tour Leader will be ready to receive us and kick start our journey. We shall then head to our hotel in Nairobi, where we shall check in.

On this day, if we have an early arrival, we may explore local attractions around Nairobi. The city has a national park at its edge, making it one of the special conservation cities globally. Indeed Nairobi is the best place to start your African safari. Otherwise, we can relax and enjoy the nice Nairobi weather from our hotel; preparing for our Best of East Africa Safari.

Night in Nairobi.

DAY 2: SCHOOL VISIT TO OL PEJETA CONSERVANCY – MT. KENYA REGION

We shall begin our Best of Kenya and Tanzania Safari in the Mt. Kenya region. On the way we shall visit a local school where we interact with the students and teachers; to see how a local school runs. The school we visit is one of our sustainability partners and we have supported several projects in the institution. The school visit also helps us learn about the education system used in East Africa – with the Kenyan programme as an example.

We shall later drive to the Equator stop, where we enjoy some photos before proceeding to Ol Pejeta Conservancy. Our Best of East Africa Safari will continue exploring the amazing Ol Pejeta Conservancy this afternoon on exciting safari drives.

Night at Ol Pejeta.

DAY 3: OL PEJETA CONSERVANCY AND SWEETWATERS CHIMPANZEE SANCTUARY

We shall enjoy beautiful safari drives at East Africa’s largest Black Rhino sanctuary. We shall be keeping an eye for mammals such as Cape Buffalo, Grevy’s Zebra, Savannah Elephant, Spotted Hyena, Striped Hyena, Patas Monkey, Beisa Oryx, African Wild Dog, Bohor Reedbuck, Reticulated Giraffe, Jackson’s Hartebeest, White Rhino, African Lion, Leopard and Cheetah. Birds here include the Grey Crowned Crane and White-bellied Bustard.

We shall also enjoy time at the Sweetwaters Chimpanzees Sanctuary, which is the only place to see these Great Apes in Kenya- a key highlight on our Best of East Africa Safaris.

Another highlight of Ol Pejeta Conservancy is the Northern White Rhinos Sanctuary- there are only two individuals left on Earth; and both are hosted at Ol Pejeta. This rhino experience is a highlight of our Best of East Africa Safari.

Night at Ol Pejeta.

DAY 4: ABERDARE NATIONAL PARK TO LAKE NAIVASHA – THE GREAT RIFT VALLEY

We shall spend a morning of game drives in the amazing Aberdare National Park; a key location on our Best of East Africa Safaris. This Park runs the expanse of a majestic mountain range on the eastern edge of the Rift Valley. The park has a great stretch of alpine moorland vegetation, mainly above 3,000m. This great landscape has led to the park’s nick-name:- “Majestic Peaks, Moorlands and Intriguing Falls”.

There is a thick tropical forest, with deep ravines and dissecting riverine gorges. At certain areas, these rivers form majestic waterfalls, which leave a sight to be desired. Many animals occupy this beautiful place and species of mammals such as African Elephant, Cape Buffalo, Bush Duiker, Common Bushbuck and Giant Forest Hog can be expected.

We shall then spend a relaxed afternoon at the shores of Lake Naivasha; located on the Great Rift Valley floor. Lake Naivasha is one of the few fresh water lakes located inside the Eastern Great Rift Valley. Views of Lake Naivasha and the associated wildlife are always a highlight on our Best of East Africa Safaris.

Night at Naivasha.

DAY 5 AND 6: MASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE – BIG GAME

We shall then head to the Masai Mara National Reserve; where the Best of East Africa Safari continues. Considered the ultimate wildlife haven in Kenya and arguably the best safari destination in Africa, this reserve has a lot to offer.

Renowned for the annual wildebeest migration, which is often regarded as the 8th Wonder of the World, Masai Mara National Reserve is a jewel on all our Best of East Africa Safaris. From all members of the Big 5 (African Lion, Black Rhino, Cape Buffalo, Leopard, Savannah Elephant) to the numerous herbivores grazing the landscape in huge herds, Masai Mara is indeed amazing. Enjoy interesting game drives as you track the Big 5, the Big Cats- Lion, Cheetah and Leopard and much more.

Here you can also take part in an optional balloon ride across the beautiful Masai Mara plains. This is followed by a scrumptious breakfast and cocktail party; all set up in the bush, with great views of the Masai Mara. This is an exciting optional activity during our Best of East Africa Safaris.

Nights in Mara.

DAY 7 AND 8: SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK – ENDLESS PLAINS

We shall then take a local flight to Serengeti National Park; where our next leg of the Best of East Africa Safari takes place. We shall enjoy game drives in this wonderful park as we enjoy the scenery of these vast plains. We shall spend time looking around some of the famous rock outcrops, often called Kopjes. Look out for animals such as Leopard, Cheetah, Cape Buffalo, assorted Gazelles, Maasai Giraffe, Wildebeest, Common Zebras, Savannah Elephant and African Lions.

Here you shall also get an opportunity to learn all about the famous Serengeti migration and get to follow in the steps of the Wildebeests on a lovely Kopje rock, modelled to imitate the migration cycle. This experience is a great highlight on all our Best of East Africa Safaris.

Nights in Serengeti.

DAY 9: SERENGETI TO NGORONGORO; VIA OL DUVAI GORGE MUSEUM – PREHISTORY AND MAASAI CULTURE

We shall then make our way to a phenomenal pre-historic site, the Ol Duvai or Ol Dupai gorge. This site has led to multiple archaeological and paleontological discoveries; and is often a highlight on our Best of East Africa Safari. Home to the great work by Louis and Mary Leakey, this is a phenomenal destination. Some famous discoveries here include Zinjanthropus, Homo habilis and Homo erectus. You will get to learn all about the work going on at the site in a very interactive way.

We shall then enjoy a cultural visit to one of the local Maasai Villages. This is one of the best kept traditions of indigenous African tribes; and we shall enjoy learning from our hosts about their culture. We shall then climb into the Ngorongoro Highlands; where our Best of East Africa Safari continues. Here we shall enjoy a relaxed afternoon at our lodge.

Night in Ngorongoro.

DAY 10: NGORONGORO CRATER

We shall enjoy the day at the beautiful Ngorongoro crater, which is a major highlight on our Best of East Africa Safari. The mighty Ngorongoro is indeed an amazing place. It is known as one of the wonders of Africa. Descending down the crater floor takes you through great scenery and you get to experience the local Euphorbia tree varieties.

Herds of wild animals are plenty inside the crater as well as wonderful views of the crater walls. Look out for African Lions, Black Rhinos, Common Zebras, Cheetah, assorted Gazelles, Nile Hippos and White-bearded Wildebeests.

Night in Ngorongoro.

DAY 11: LAKE MANYARA TO ARUSHA – MT. MERU AND COFFEE GROWING EXPERIENCE

Leaving early, we shall enjoy a game drive in Lake Manyara National Park, at the edge of the Great Rift Valley. We shall be looking out for the local tree-climbing lions and diverse primates. We hope to also enjoy flamingos and other birds along the shores of this soda lake.

We then proceed to Arusha town, at the foothills of Mt. Meru; where our safari continues. This evening will be spent at a coffee estate where we shall learn more about the growing of Tanzanian coffee. Sip a warm cup of locally-grown coffee as you relax at the foothills of Mt. Meru.

Night in Arusha.

DAY 12 AND 13: AMBOSELI NATIONAL PARK – MT. KILIMANJARO

Leaving early, we shall cross the Kenyan border then head to Amboseli National Park, where the Best of East Africa Safari adventure will continue. This amazing place is regarded as one of Kenya’s Premium Parks, and is located at the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro. The park is graced by mighty Savannah Elephants, and hosts the longest and most famous elephant research program in the entire World.

The mammals here are great indeed (including Lions, Cheetah, Caracal, African Civet, Lesser Kudu, Yellow Baboon, Blue Wildebeest and Maasai Giraffe); and we shall take time to enjoy them for the next leg of our safari. The local birds are great and we shall be hoping to enjoy many species, such as Kori Bustard and African Fish Eagle.

Nights in Amboseli.

DAY 14: NAIROBI TO ENTEBBE – LAKE VICTORIA

We shall then return to Nairobi; and take a flight from Kenya to Uganda; where our next leg of the Best of East Africa Safari will continue.

We shall enjoy a relaxed evening in Entebbe; near the shores of Lake Victoria.

Night in Entebbe.

DAY 15: KAMPALA AND JINJA – THE RIVER NILE

We shall then proceed to Kampala City and onwards to Jinja; often called the source of the River Nile. We shall enjoy a relaxed morning along the water shores as we learn about the local geography. There are some available water sports here and we shall pertake in some of these based on your passion. Otherwise, we can choose to take it easy and enjoy views of River Nile.

Later in the afternoon, we shall retrace our steps back to Kampala City where we visit local attraction sites on a guided city tour. Our goal will be visiting the local historical sites; such as the Uganda Martyrs Shrine and the Kasubi Royal Kabaka Tombs (from the ancient Buganda Kingdoms).

Night in Entebbe.

DAY 16: TO FORT PORTAL – FOOTHILLS OF MT. RWENZORI

We shall head to Fort Portal where our great safari continues. Here we shall enjoy views of the third-highest mountain in Africa. Often more famous among hiking groups who seek the snow-capped peaks of the “Mountains of the Moon”; Rwenzori Mountains are a special place along the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. This legendary name started as early explorers were seeking to find the source of River Nile; and today Mt. Rwenzori is the most famous site with that name. An old film (Mountains of the Moon) documents some of these adventures.

Later, we shall check in to our lodge. We shall enjoy a relaxed afternoon as we enjoy the landscapes of Western Uganda.

Night at Fort Portal.

DAY 17: BIGODI WETLAND WALK AND CHIMPANZEE TREKKING IN KIBALE FOREST NATIONAL PARK

We shall proceed to the edge of Kibale Forest, at the beautiful Bigodi Swamp. Here, we shall enjoy a nature walk guided by a local safari guide from the community. We shall also take some time to learn about the community conservation efforts at the local visitor centre. This is a key part of our Best of East Africa Safaris.

The Bigodi Wetland is a swamp surrounded by tall trees and inhabited by many different primate species. The common primates here include Uganda Grey-cheeked Mangabey, L’Hoest’s Monkey, Western Guereza Colobus Monkey, Uganda Red Colobus Monkey, Red-tailed Monkey and Olive Baboon.

In the afternoon, we shall head to the park headquarters where our Chimpanzee trek will commence. We shall all meet for a briefing from the local rangers at the visitors centre. We shall then be assigned our guides and head into the forest using our vehicle.

We shall embark on a nice trek deeper into the forest where our primate friends await- the Eastern Chimpanzees. We shall spend time enjoying these beautiful animals as we learn more about their Biology from our very experienced guides. This trek is a major highlight on all our Best of East Africa Safaris.

Night at Fort Portal.

DAY 18: QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK – THE ALBERTINE RIFT VALLEY

We shall drive through Uganda’s countryside as we enjoy the local farms, such as cotton plantations. We shall drive to our lodge as we enjoy wildlife in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Mammals to expect here include Uganda Kob, Common Warthog, Giant Forest Hog, Nile Hippo, Lake Chad Buffalo, African Elephant, Bushbuck, African Lion, Leopard and Spotted Hyena. We may also find the local Nile Crocodiles.

In the afternoon, we shall enjoy a boat cruise along the famous Kazinga Channel, which connects Lake Edward and Lake George. Lake Edward is part of the Western or Albertine Rift Valley system. This cruise is a key highlight on our Best of East Africa Safaris. Here many mammals and waterbirds will be present and we shall take time to enjoy them. Birds along the water edges include African Fish Eagles and African Skimmers.

Night at Queen Elizabeth National Park.

DAY 19: ISHASHA TO BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST NATIONAL PARK – BATWA CULTURE

We shall start the day early and head towards the Ishasha region in Southern Queen Elizabeth National Park. This area is famous for the local tree-climbing Lions. We may be lucky to find these beautiful cats among an array of other big game and birds.

We shall continue our Best of East Africa Safari; driving along the very scenic South-Western Uganda. On arrival in Bwindi, we shall enjoy lunch and some rest. Later in the afternoon, we shall enjoy a cultural experience with the Batwa Tribe- this is a community that has lived in this beautiful forest for decades.

Night in Bwindi.

DAY 20: UGANDA GORILLAS TREKKING IN BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST

Departing our lodge with packed lunch, we shall head to Bwindi Forest headquarters, where the gorilla trek will take place. We shall all meet for a briefing from the local rangers. This day is definitely the most interesting part of our Best of East Africa Safari. We shall venture into the forest following nice trails through the dense forest.

Soon enough, we shall meet our “hosts” for the day- the majestic Mountain Gorillas. This is the climax of our Best of East Africa Safari. Sometimes the hike takes longer depending on the local movements of these great apes; who live a very natural lifestyle in this great forest. We shall spend time enjoying these great apes and making the best photos. Most gorilla families are well composed with a dominant male, several females and young.

Our trek may also produce more primates, including the amazing L’ Hoest Monkey. We shall then hike back to our starting point and return to our lodge for a relaxed afternoon.

Night in Bwindi.

DAY 21: BWINDI TO ENTEBBE

On this day we shall head to Entebbe on a domestic flight. If your flight home will be later in the evening, we can organise local afternoon activities in Entebbe or the nearby Kampala City.

Evening flights from Entebbe will mark the end to our lovely Best of East Africa Safari.

 

 

Highlight mammals and others

Leopard, African Lion, Cheetah, Black Rhino, White Rhino, Savannah Elephant, Cape Buffalo, Nile Hippopotamus, Nile Crocodile, Maasai Giraffe, Mountain Gorilla, Eastern Chimpanzee

Highlight birds

Kori Bustard, Secretarybird, Saddle-billed Stork, Lilac-breasted Roller, Great White Pelican, Lesser Flamingo, Greater Flamingo

Habitats covered

Savannah, Highland Forest, Wetlands, Alpine Moorland, Mountain Heather Vegetation, Albertine Rift Mountains

Photographic opportunities

Excellent

Special moments

Masai Mara, Mt. Kenya views, Mt. Kilimanjaro views, Mt. Rwenzori views, Lake Victoria, River Nile, African Big Five, Ol duvai Gorge, Coffee Experience, the Great Rift Valley, cultural experiences, Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Mountain Gorillas, Eastern Chimpanzees, Northern White Rhinos, School Visit